History of the 17th Infantry Regiment


Sir, I give you the 17th U.S. Infantry (Kentucky), and on 26 June 1812, this gallant unit became a part of the  infant U.S. Army. In 1813, as part of Maj. Gen. William Henry Harrisonís army, the 17th received its baptism of fire from the British.

The next time the 17th heard guns fired in anger was during the Civil War. The battle of Fredericksburg saw the 17th Infantry storming the famous stonewall, which was immortalized on the Regimental crest, and at Gettysburg as part of Sykes 6th Corps, the Regiment won additional honors.

After the Civil War the Regiment was moved westward and was instrumental in aiding and building up the great West during the years of American expansion.

The 17th lost heavily in killed and wounded in the Spanish-American War, where it participated in the battles of El Caney and Santiago, and many of the officers and men were decorated for conspicuous bravery in action.

In the interim between the Spanish-American War and the First World War, the regiment served in the Philippines and the Islands of the Pacific. Later it returned to the United States where it was stationed along the Mexican border.

When the United States was drawn into the World War, the 17thís principal duty was training men for combat. In the years that followed, the regiment was garrisoned in various posts throughout the United States.

Upon reactivation of the 7th Division in 1939, the 17th was called on to serve as the basic unit, and throughout all the Divisionís campaigns in World War II, the men of the 17th played a major role. There were two Congressional Medal of Honor winners in the 17th Infantry: Pfc. Brostrom and Pfc. Thorson were posthumously awarded the MH for their heroism on Leyte.

In Korean occupation the 17th was posted in the south of the 7th division zone of responsibility. The 17th Infantry Regiment was reduced to record status on 15 August 1948 in order to facilitate the evacuation of the 7th Infantry Division from Korea.


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